In the United States, there are over 7,021 colleges and universities.A “college” in the US formally denotes a constituent part of a university, but in popular usage, the word “college” is the generic term for any post-secondary undergraduate education. Americans “go to college” after high school, regardless of whether the specific institution is formally a college or a university. Some students choose to dual-enroll, by taking college classes while still in high school. The word and its derivatives are the standard terms used to describe the institutions and experiences associated with American post-secondary undergraduate education.
Paying for College Education in USA
Students must pay for college before taking classes. Some borrow the money via loans, and some students fund their educations with cash, scholarships, or grants, or some combination of any two or more of those payment methods. In 2011, the state or federal government subsidized $8,000 to $100,000 for each undergraduate degree. For state-owned schools (called “public” universities), the subsidy was given to the college, with the student benefiting from lower tuition. The state subsidized on average 50% of public university tuition.
Academic performance is important as students prepare for college, but so is paying for it. The earlier parents begin saving for their children’s higher education, the more financially prepared they’ll be. There are a variety of ways to begin saving and investing in a child’s future, including stocks, mutual funds and 529 savings plans. The 529 savings plans have no income or age limitations and offer significant tax breaks.
Grants and scholarships are available as students reach the college level and help bridge the gap between savings and actual cost. Many students qualify for student loans as well.